In a few months I will turn 20.

A new decade.

A bittersweet beginning.

I am no longer a teen nor I have a “10 + something”.

My emotions are all over the place. I remember wishing to be 10 when I was way younger. At that time I was obsessed over mites. Don’t ask why. I just was. And I knew that everytime you level up a decade you will have shredded “x” amount of skin…

My priorities have evolved over time.

Thank god.

Still. I am a little bit afraid of who I will become.

To ease those fears I have researched a little bit about others in their 20s. Just to prepare myself.

I read multiple chronicles, deep regrets, inimaginable “if only I had a second chance” only to realize that those aren’t my story nor the path I will take. After all, aging is all about accumulating experiences, wrinkles and laughs. Or at least I hope is that.

Let me dream a little bit.

The advice we give others tends to be based on our past experiences, time at that age and one's personality. So even if well-intentioned it cannot be applied to oneself.

But it can inspire one.

Especially from, "What would you say to your 20-something self?", "Nothing, because I wouldn't listen".

That made me laugh a lot. Only to realize. Maybe I wouldn't listen to myself even if my 80-something-years-old would come to visit me and alert.

So...What if it's my 19-year-old self giving advice to my 20-year-old self? Would it change anything?

Would I be able to dedicate motivational and kind words to the future?

Maybe. So I'll write 20 tips I learned in my teens that I hope I can carry into my 20's. Life will see if these evolve (hopefully, it means I've grown up and will be able to see how I used to think as I write this).

So let's get started!

Remember these are my opinions on what I think will serve my future. If you want to contribute a different perspective you are welcome to do so. As long as it is with kindness.

1.-Your ideas are useless

Sounds very blunt, doesn't it? Let's paraphrase then: Your ideas [by themselves] are useless. It is true that we create them with a lot of love and dedication. When they come, we want to kiss the feet of our inspirational muses. These beautiful ideas that light up our eyes and lurk in our heads...there they stay. In our minds. And an idea pigeonholed by the fantasy that it is not worth much if others cannot really appreciate it.

So for them to gain their true value they must be paired with realization and dedication. Once materialized and understood by others is when they really shine.

I think you should understand, after all we are writers. No matter how much we dream about our stories if they don't make it to paper and are traced by ink they will never see the light of the sun.

And that brings us to the next tip:

[But first, a little express advice, remember that we are humble people. I doubt that there are millionaires here (And if there are...good baby, how are you? I have some ideas that will blow your mind, please finish me off. I beg you). Our ideas if they are put on paper but not copyrighted or patented anyone can come and steal them from us. So...leave the dreaming to the rich...?]

No, no, I'm kidding. But not so much, be careful and protect yourselves.

And now to our next tip:

2.-If your project is perfect, you have started a little bit too late

Personally when it comes to devising and starting new projects it is an easy task. The muse comes and delights me with her melody. I just let myself go until the melody stops and I'm faced with reality. My tinted glasses disappear and I realize that my idea is not so perfectly executed. Maybe it's not even feasible. So I stop and start going over each point trying to perfect it. Meanwhile, others who haven't stopped have learned from their mistakes along the way and, after a while, have managed to get their project off the ground.

What about me? I'm still at a standstill looking for perfection in some points that require only practice. Another "mine" idea that has been successfully produced by others. We are human, it would be rare for our idea to be totally innovative. What is innovative is the way we execute it.

So enjoy the journey, learn from your mistakes, enjoy every thrill and don't stop except if someone's life is in danger. We appreciate morals and human values here. Thank you.

3.-If you don't show up, nothing will happen

This advice is closely linked to the previous one. By stopping, we are not only avoiding a beautiful journey, but we are robbing ourselves of the opportunity for something to happen.

I am a person who loves to participate in contests, no matter the subject matter. Whether I'm good at it or not. For heaven's sake, a few days ago I participated in a programming contest. Do I know how to program? No. Did I lose? Yes, but no.

Participating gave me the opportunity to learn more about myself and other people. I didn't sleep, I hardly ate substantially and there was friction. And at the same time I discovered a part of myself that I would love to devote myself to in the future. I managed to deepen a friendship with an already dear friend of mine. And we managed to make mentors believe that we should have won something even without having a single code. [Could you call it gaslighting +? I mean, it obviously wasn't planned or done with bad intentions].

Did I want to give up on several occasions? Yes.

So why didn't I? Simple: I would have sabotaged myself.

My morale would have gone down, I would think "not even a simple 24-hour project can I finish" and...maybe we could have achieved something. By showing up we were giving ourselves a chance. By not doing it...none.

After all, if you don't try he's not insured. So, why fear?

But it hasn't just happened to me with projects but in other aspects of my life. Especially academics. There are times when I thought I would fail or that the work really wasn't even worth a 0...

Can I let you in on a little secret? The way you see your "complete" and the definition of your "pass" is totally different from other people. We are very critical of what we perform. Hand it over even if it looks horrible to you. You might be surprised.

We are the worst judges of ourselves.

And...this will be it for now! I beg forgiveness from the misleading tittle.

The clock is ticking. Soon it will be 12 pm for me. Therefore, I will be a Cinderella and disappear. Fear not. I will come back with the rest of the advice. (I am going to have vacations so take my word when I say I will rewrite everything and finish the 20 main points of advice. Read them if you so desire).